A crowd of some 25-30 citizens were in attendance at the Marysville City Council meeting Monday, most appearing reluctant to consider any alternate plan to locate a disc golf course anywhere other than the City Park. Kyle Goracke had approached the council at previous meetings, with a draft that included a nine-hole course in the city park. Mayor Carla Grunde and several council members had expressed safety concerns, and previously suggested alternate sites including Lakeview Sports Complex, the Blue River Rail Trail head just north of town, using perimeter property at city park then extending to the southeast across the highway, and Lions Park was also mentioned.
Over an hour and a half was consumed in an oftentimes heated discussion. Proponents downplayed safety concerns, citing risk involved with other activities, and reasoning that alternate sites were not as visible or accessible to the public. Goracke had presented a draft plan developed by a Herington man, which did not include distances, out of bound zones, or related measurements, noting that professional development would run $400 per hole. Council appeared very willing to front that cost in an effort to determine a best location for such a facility.
Still the discussion went back and forth, as the council took turns asking specific questions. In the end, it was agreed to form an ad-hoc committee that will find a design firm, who will review all possible sites, and return with a detailed scale drawing of their best recommendation. A motion to that effect passed unanimously. A visibly frustrated crowd left the room and took to social media afterward. The committee includes Jason Barnes, Darlene Boss, and Gina Graham.
During public comment, Sharon Kessinger spoke in favor of the project, and the city park location. Brandon Wilson talked of the precedent set with other multi use activities that involve safety risk, Chase Williams encouraged developing the course as a way to attract young people and families to the community. All seemed convinced that city park was the best option. Former council member Vicky Gross was in favor of the project, but not the location, again pressing safety concerns.
The mayor and Goracke sparred over exactly how much property is included in city park. Disagreement continued as to qualifications of the individual drafting the design. Goracke pointed out 8 municipal and private courses that he had been involved in, while the mayor and several council members were concerned with a map that was not drawn to scale, and did not include distances, and reference to design standards.
As council members raised questions, Jason Barnes was largely in favor of the city park, and quickly dismissed the property to the southeast as not feasible due to trees and terrain, as well as crossing the highway. Kevin Throm wanted a more specific plan. Diane Schroller suggested Lions Park, which Goracke had considered but was not if favor of. Todd Frye asked no questions and was in favor of the proposal.
Terry Hughes expressed disappointment that the council had not been engaged earlier in the planning process, and again suggested the trail head site as an open area that could work well. Gina Graham was concerned with lack of detail on the drawings. Bobbi Pippia suggested liability waiver forms for tournament participants, possible permits, and adequate signage and notification for larger events. Darlene Boss reported that several she talked with, including a camper at city park involved with disc golf, felt the site was too small for such a course.
The mayor went on to review a 2007 project at Lakeview that included several disc golf standards, noting that it wasn’t used, and wasn’t done right. She wanted to avoid a similar misstep going forward, and again said safety was the number one priority. Goracke expressed dissatisfaction with Lakeview because of limited visibility and access, few trees, and limited access to water and bathroom facilities.
It took much less discussion, and only a matter of minutes to approve a motion to deny a private individual from Lincoln, Nebraska permission to capture and relocate a pair of black squirrels from the city to populate his property.
A split vote on a matter relating to vacation time for city employees was approved, with the mayor voting in favor.
Prior to a vote on several street projects, it was pointed out that the city sales tax fund, currently at $932,000 could fall to around $300,000 without benefit of a missing K-Link grant reimbursement due. With that caution in mind, the council voted 7-1 to proceed with bids for Carolina from Third to Fifth Streets for $122,000, 20th Street north to Airport Road for $215,000, and 20th Street from Center to Carolina for $136,000. The total of $474,000 was below a $490,000 estimate, and the low bid from AHRS Construction was approved. Todd Frye voted no citing the budget concern.
A single bid over $98,000 for the next phase of ADA intersection improvements was rejected, coming in well over a $60 – 90,000 estimate. On a 7-1 vote, the project will be rebid, extending a deadline for completion from October 31st another month. Kevin Throm voted no with concerns it would be too late in the season to run concrete.
A motion to proceed with a $24,500 bid for four video sensors for the 14th and Center street stoplight was approved unanimously to replace pavement sensors which have gone out.
Finally, a motion was approved to move forward with a draft ordinance establishing an incentive program for building incentives. Up to $1,000 would be available for new construction valued at least $45,000 on vacant city lots within the area south of North Street, and west of 16th Street. Up to $2,500 would be available for demolition of blighted structures, and up to $5,000 would be available for removal of a blighted structure, and new construction replacement within two years. The effort is to better utilize existing city infrastructure and encourage development and construction.
Some disagreement on specific boundary lines was settled with a provision to review each proposal on a parcel by parcel basis. The measure passed 6-2, with Terry Hughes and Darlene Boss voting no.